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Old 20.09.2009, 12:03
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Any tips for driving on the other side of the street?

Hi all!!

Im in the process of getting a car here (i still cant believe i had to look at a parking spot before renting it - its just a parking spot!)

Anyway being used to drive on the left side of the street i want to hear from any people from the UK mostly who have been through this change. Is the transition easy and do you have any tips? Im going to get some lessons obviously before i get out there on my own but any info is more than welcome

Thanks
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Old 20.09.2009, 12:05
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Re: Any tips for driving on the other side of the street?

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Anyway being used to drive on the left side of the street
You're a Cypriot, aren't you?

Don't you just drive in the shade?
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Old 20.09.2009, 12:07
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Re: Any tips for driving on the other side of the street?

I am!

No need :P Im used to driving in the middle of summer. Cant avoid it. And you know what Cyprus temperatures are!
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Old 20.09.2009, 12:17
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Re: Any tips for driving on the other side of the street?

Concentrate at roundabouts
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Old 20.09.2009, 12:26
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Re: Any tips for driving on the other side of the street?

here's a tip: drive on the other side of the street.
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Old 20.09.2009, 12:56
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Re: Any tips for driving on the other side of the street?

Be very alert when making left turns (if it's legal) -- look left, then right, then left again AND to make sure if it's a two-lane or four-lane road and if there's a road divider, you're going into the correct lane.
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Old 20.09.2009, 13:03
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Re: Any tips for driving on the other side of the street?

It'll all come naturally to you, don't worry too much -- the road system tends to channel you into the right lane most of the time. I found the most challenging times were turning out of petrol stations onto two-lane roads (REMEMBER to drive on the right!).

Roundabouts are OK -- you normally get fed into them at an angle so that you'd have to make an awkward left turn to go the wrong way around them.

Luckily for you, this isn't Samoa, or we'd all be very confused. Or driving ox carts.
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Old 20.09.2009, 13:07
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Re: Any tips for driving on the other side of the street?

Driven on the "wrong" side for longer then the right now. The best advice I can give is get a car with the steering wheel on the correct side and remember when you pull out you need to be in the center of the road. If your not your on the wrong side!!
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Old 20.09.2009, 13:13
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Re: Any tips for driving on the other side of the street?

When you park the car, make sure it is pointing in the correct direction for driving off. Else you might get in and continue driving according to your old habit. Once you are moving, you will instantly follow the crowd.
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Old 20.09.2009, 13:20
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Re: Any tips for driving on the other side of the street?

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When you park the car, make sure it is pointing in the correct direction for driving off. Else you might get in and continue driving according to your old habit. Once you are moving, you will instantly follow the crowd.
Good point. I've always found it odd that CH (and UK, and I'm sure many other countries) allows parking while facing the wrong direction. Illegal in all states of Australia.
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Old 20.09.2009, 13:30
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Re: Any tips for driving on the other side of the street?

Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as you think. Concentrate, concentrate, concentrate and you’ll be OK. But, be warned, after a few days or weeks when you start to relax that can be a time when you make mistakes. So be aware of this !
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Old 20.09.2009, 13:32
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Re: Any tips for driving on the other side of the street?

Always concentrate a bit more when coming out of somewhere without lanes, for example car parks. When you're already on a road then turning is a little more intuitive than when you're not.

The thing that takes most effort at first is gauging the width of the car. You probably know exactly where to place the car when the passenger side is on your right. Now you have to get used to that mass being on your left. When you're driving along you can use the passenger side mirror to see if that side of the car is where you think it is. Until you get used to it be careful passing parked cars - it's easy to clip mirrors if you misjudge slightly.

Oh. And when you visit UK or Cyprus, don't forget you will need to concentrate over there now too
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Old 20.09.2009, 13:58
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Re: Any tips for driving on the other side of the street?

The biggest challenge I faced was to retune my spatial awareness and keep the car nearer to the left side of the lane. As someone used to driving on the right (right!) side of the street, I tend to let my car drift towards the right side of the lane when I first started and even bumped someone's side mirrors because I drove too close to the cars parked on the street. Eek.
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Old 20.09.2009, 14:11
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Re: Any tips for driving on the other side of the street?

Having gone from Germany to UK and back to the european mainland, I have switched driving sides a couple of times.

Generally, there will be so many cars around you, that you will not have to worry about it. I found it the hardest, when driving on small roads in residential areas, that when you turn left or right, it may seem naturl to place yourself in the left side of the street.

In towns and cities there is so much traffic anyway, you dont need to worry about it. just follow the car in front.

I think the hardest part was to get used to having the gear Knob in the "wrong" side, so for the first few weeks, i hit my door every time i wanted to change gear.

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Old 20.09.2009, 14:17
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Re: Any tips for driving on the other side of the street?

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Driven on the "wrong" side for longer then the right now. The best advice I can give is get a car with the steering wheel on the correct side and remember when you pull out you need to be in the center of the road. If your not your on the wrong side!!
I switch between driving side quite often.....

and I absolutely recommend the conscious thought... "Is my body in the middle of the road" (when you are driving with the car that is correct for that country)

This doesnt work so well for single lane roads of course....

And pulling out of a parking lot onto a dual carriageway - be very careful..... Dont be like me and think "hmmm - thats odd - the traffic lights are pointing the wrong way" (It was early Sunday morning, noone else on road thankfully)
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Old 20.09.2009, 14:27
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Re: Any tips for driving on the other side of the street?

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The biggest challenge I faced was to retune my spatial awareness and keep the car nearer to the left side of the lane. As someone used to driving on the right (right!) side of the street, I tend to let my car drift towards the right side of the lane when I first started and even bumped someone's side mirrors because I drove too close to the cars parked on the street. Eek.
I lost two that way - you learn quickly after that.
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Old 20.09.2009, 14:33
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Re: Any tips for driving on the other side of the street?

We found that the most likely time you are going to make a mistake and end up on the wrong side of the road is when you first set off for the day. Turning out of own our garage and when my husband collected the car from the garage are the two times he ended up on the wrong side of the road.

Once you are already on the road on the correct side you are much more aware and can follow the traffic.

Tips: Many intersections have blue arrows telling you which side of the traffic light/pole to drive on. When driving up to an intersection, you know you are on the correct side when the give way triangles point into your lane (I have used this one just to confirm )

Don't forget the give way to the right rule - even to the smallest road and slowest tractor. You also need to give priority to roads where a dashed curved line indicates that road has priority.
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Old 20.09.2009, 14:35
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Re: Any tips for driving on the other side of the street?

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The biggest challenge I faced was to retune my spatial awareness and keep the car nearer to the left side of the lane. As someone used to driving on the right (right!) side of the street, I tend to let my car drift towards the right side of the lane when I first started and even bumped someone's side mirrors because I drove too close to the cars parked on the street. Eek.
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I lost two that way - you learn quickly after that.
Aha, it kinda explains things. It was you lot after all.
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Old 20.09.2009, 14:38
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Re: Any tips for driving on the other side of the street?

I recently had this experience. In India we drive on left, driving to right side in CH was no problem. My advice follow the arrows, on the road and on intersections showing "keep right".


Kamal
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Old 20.09.2009, 14:44
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Re: Any tips for driving on the other side of the street?

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In India we drive on left, driving to right side in CH was no problem...
I can truly believe you found it no problem whatsoever

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